Sainz: Ferrari F1 “just need to make” 2024 car an “all-rounder” after strong one-lap pace this year

Spread the love

Carlos Sainz has come up with a list of features that Ferrari should keep from their 2023 Formula 1 car, although he knows that certain traits would have to go if the team intends on keeping up with Red Bull in the upcoming 2024 season.

Photo Credit: Scuderia Ferrari

In qualifying, Sainz and his teammate Charles Leclerc reached a combined total of seven pole positions throughout the season, which represents the highest level of competitiveness that the SF-23 showed across a race weekend.

Red Bull’s close attention to race pace allowed them to draw away over a longer stint, even when Verstappen failed to take pole position; it was the opposite for Ferrari as a result of their struggles with tyre management, especially in the first half of the season.

When asked which of the current characteristics he would like to see stay on the car for 2024, Sainz said: “I would take definitely the straight-line speed and the braking performance and the performance in 90-degree, short duration corners.

“Also, the kerb riding I think is a very strong point. So, the car has very, very strong points.”

However, according to him, if Ferrari wishes to make progress, they may have to give up some of these traits in order to reach its “realistic aim” of battling with Red Bull.

“I feel like if we want to have a car for the whole year, maybe we need to give away some of these traits to make sure we’re quick everywhere, especially in the race.”

Sainz believes understanding the incredibly sensitive Pirelli tyres is also vital for the team to take the step required.

“In the races is where we need to really focus, on understanding what are we doing to this car.

“What are we doing to these tyres that is not allowing us to compete in the races at the level of Red Bull and McLaren in Brazil, for example, in Austin, in circuits where you can clearly see we just don’t have the race pace?”

Sainz noted, “it has to be our realistic aim” when asked on the potential of challenging Red Bull, this year’s constructors’ champion, as soon as 2024.

“Will we manage to do it? Only time will tell.”

With the 2-time Grand Prix winner having full faith in the Scuderia to build a stronger car next year, Sainz is urging the team to believe Red Bull can be caught next year.

“I want the team to be thinking that it is possible because I believe it is,” he added.

“Also, we’ve proven that if McLaren has been able to do these steps during the season, I’m perfectly confident that Ferrari can do it over a winter break.”

“I trust this team. I trust the capacity that we have back at home to turn things around.”

“There are still circuits where we are on pole by 0.3s to the Red Bull. It’s just that it’s a very specific trait of the car that really is good. We just need to make it an all-rounder.”